Wetting and capillary forces
Wetting phenomena are structural changes of interfaces between two coexisting bulk phases of condensed matter, if a third one becomes thermodynamically stable. These phenomena play an important role throughout the whole work of the department. In particular wetting phenomena topographically or chemically structured solid substrates and the structure of three phase contact lines of sessile drops or liquid lenses are studied in detail.
Fluid interfaces break translational symmetry and they are deformable. Both properties generate effective interactions ("capillary forces") with dissolved particles and they modify effective interactions among them in comparison to bulk solutions. In this respect, effective interactions between colloidal particles at fluid interfaces are studied.